Auriol, Vincent [key], 1884–1966, French statesman, first president (1947–54) of the Fourth Republic. A Socialist deputy after 1914, he was finance minister under Léon Blum (1936–37) and minister of justice in the cabinet of Camille Chautemps (1937–38). He refused (1940) to vote plenary powers to Marshal Pétain and was held in custody by the Vichy government. Released in 1941, he worked in the French underground and in 1943 left France to join Gen. Charles de Gaulle. A member of the provisional government (1945), he was elected (1946) president of the national assembly. He was president of the republic from 1947 to 1954. In 1958 he aided de Gaulle's return to power, but he later protested (1960) against what he considered de Gaulle's arbitrary rule. He resigned from the Socialist party in 1959.
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